El Arapazo Latin Grill: elarepazolatingrill.com
Back by popular demand this time the “fit-Foodie” review is from a local (Brewery District) Latin American Restaurant. Dishes come from all over Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and even Spain. The German Village Walking Club recently put the menu to the “fit-Foodie” review test. I’m happy to report that this Latino delight did not disappoint.
Overall “fit-Foodie” rating 4.5 medals
Main Course - 5 Medals
One great feature of the Arepazo menu is the fact there are truly healthy choices for those who can afford to burn some extra calories and for those who want to keep things light.
One great choice for those with a big appetite is the Chimichurri Carne Asada. One member is quoted as saying “Tastes great and is filling.” This dish has it all; grilled steak, rice, black beans, sunny side up egg and arepitas. I suggest substituting the side salad for grilled mixed vegetables that include a mix of peppers and onions. I love the variety with this dish and the high protein selection. The chimichurri flavor, if you don’t know, is a refreshing classic mix of parsley, garlic, oregano, white vinegar and oil. So good. To keep true to “fit” selection you can try to skip the arepitas if your will power is better than mine. These little gems are much like corn fritters, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and golden on the inside. Think golden polenta consistency. They are great for dipping in the Arepazo famous cilantro sauce (available in mild or spicy).
Fish Tacos will get you 3 flour tortillas with lightly breaded cod, lettuce, corn salad, chipotle sauce and avocado. This choice is fresh and flavorful and has a beautiful presentation. I can’t lie however, as I wish the tacos were made with corn tortillas instead of flour but I will still order these again. One walking club member commented “no scales” when asked about this selection. Hey, anytime I can avoid a scale, I’m a happy foodie.
Extra Laps (side dishes) - 5 Medals
If you are like me (Lord help you), when deciding on a menu item for main course, I often choose one or two appetizers instead. This way, I get a variety of delicacies to try without overdoing the portion size. At Arepazo, we’ve seen that the main course entrees allow for a variety of tastings in one dish. However, if you want to go light and healthy there are great side/appetizer choices.
Anticuchos (bless you!)now called Pinchos : this appetizer is a great protein choice for anyone watching their carbohydrate intake. No bones about it, (get it?) this dish provides succulent chunks of marinated ribeye on skewers served with scallions and a red pepper sauce that adds a nice tangy, slightly sweet creaminess to the meat. Go light on the sauce, as that is where the fat calories are hiding without the total protein benefit for sure. The meat is tender and flavorful with spices of the Caribbean.
If ceviche is your thing, you are in luck! Arepazo has three types on the menu. You can choose between salmon, shrimp or tilapia selections. All are fresh and tasty with giant chunks of fish and tangy lime juice flavored with chilies from Peru, red onions and depending on the selection cucumber and tomato. Served with crispy tortilla chips, this is light fare meant to bring a smile to a “fit-Foodie”. I usually skip the tortillas when I am really watching the diet, but those chips do provide a nice vehicle for transport, if you know what I mean.
Sorry to report there are no healthy options here. I was hoping for perhaps a mango fruit end to the meal. Now don’t get me wrong, the Tre Leches cake was delightful and probably the signature dessert for this restaurant. Rich cake soaked in a sweet creamy sauce and topped with cinnamon was better than expected. I felt like I was floating on a cinnamon cloud of heaven. Almost like a custard, the flavor reminded me of a snickerdoodle.
Flan was another regional choice. This custard had a golden layer on the bottom and a cinnamon crusted top and the whole delight was swimming in caramel syrup.
Expo (restaurant space and layout) - 4 Medals; Timing Chip (service) - 3 Medals
The Brewery District space was colorful and exotic. On Saturday or during the week after 5:30 you can park in the back parking lot. Tuesday evenings offer Salsa lessons at 7pm and Thursdays get you live music and ½ off bottles of wine.
Maybe it was because we had a big group, but I thought the service was a little slow, but we weren’t in a hurry.
Water Stop - 3 Medals
I didn’t see any low sugar margarita choices, but the Sangria was enjoyable. You can choose from white or red selections. It’s better to order this later in the day if you can, so the fruit has a chance to work its magic. The wine list is great too; most from Latin America which is always fun.
Relief Station - 3 Medals
Nothing special, but all you need
Value - 5 Medals
This unique menu is worth the menu prices for sure. Huge selection of main entrees and sides. The next time you feel the need for some Latino flare, head to Arepazo. The menu is extensive and you can decide to go for broke in a fresh, clean way with your meal, or keep it light.
Great for a group if you have some time to spend to enjoy a pitcher of sangria.